Erika graduation

Erika Marie West Writing Scholarship

The Erika Marie West Writing Scholarship is awarded annually by her family to the Jenison High School senior who best exemplifies Erika’s creative spirit, her passion for the marginalized, and her willingness to pour her heart into her writing and her life. Any senior who is committed to further education beyond high school may submit a piece of writing.

Judges will value uninhibited passion and a brave willingness to pen genuine, honest texts. This can be poetry, fiction, essay, or multi-genre work: Erika, a talented visual artist as well as writer, excelled at each of these.

Erika lived for her relationships and was a fiercely loyal friend. She breathed life into words like compassion, empathy, and bravery. Her fight against bigotry and intolerance came to her naturally, even as a young child. She was forever a champion of the underdog and often lent her voice to the defense of others. The rarity of her spirit and sharp wit—in the way she lived, and in the way she wrote—set her apart.